Cowes Dinghy Week 23rd – 27th July 2016

Gurnard Sailing Club welcomed around eighty sailors, including visitors from as far afield as Wakatere YC Auckland, to its annual dinghy regatta, which was sailed over five days and which kicked off with the annual Dinghy Week cocktail party attended by around 150 members.
Competitors were treated to champagne sailing conditions over the whole period of the regatta, which allowed visiting PRO, Jeremy Cooper, to set challenging courses for the six classes.
First away each afternoon were the Shadows, and those watching from the shore enjoyed the spectacular sight of these performance catamarans whizzing across the Solent.  Racing was close on the first day between the leading three of Paul Bowen, Shaun Kellett and Carl Blenkinsop, but a mix-up with the course meant that Martin Scott profited with an early win.  Elsewhere, Andy Budgen – visiting from Weston SC – literally flew across the water in his foiling Moth to take the win in the fast handicap.  Meanwhile, in the medium and laser handicap fleets, the pairing of Tim Wilkinson/Ben Symons and Ted Blowers respectively started the week the way they intended to carry on with bullets.
The Aero handicap fleet, which has grown quickly at Gurnard, enjoyed close competitive racing; local Martin Bean took the first gun from Richard Willows and Dutch visitor, Jenny Troeber.  However, it was the slow handicap fleet that dominated in the numbers category, with sixteen crews taking to the water in a mixture of Picos, Toppers, Mirros and RS Fevas.  The first race saw the Picos take the top three places, while the Fevas got their acts together before coming good in the days that followed.
For the first three days of the regatta, the juniors enjoyed their own racing during the mornings.  Split into two groups – the Race fleet for the more experienced among them, and the Regatta fleet for those who had recently completed their training – the youngsters thrived in the superb conditions, learning much and having fun at the same time.  The junior fleet has been much indebted to the sponsorship of Esplanade Garage for the provision of new training boats and sails.
By the final day of the afternoon regatta, clear winners had emerged in the medium and laser handicap groups and in the Shadows, but it remained all to play for in the other four categories.  Just two points separated overall winner, Andy Budgen, from second placed Tim Harrison in the fast group; and it was even closer in the slow group, eventually won by Robin and Thomas Leather in their RS Feva after a disappointing final race by Mike Peddar.  Going into the final race in the Aeros, it looked as if Andy Warren would be taking the series, but with a third bullet, Giovanni Belgrano could discard a DNS and take the win.
Trophies and prizes, kindly donated by Henri Lloyd, were handed out by Ben Hollis of Lancasters, the Week’s headline sponsors, at a supper on the final evening of the regatta.  Pete Newlands presented the new Mike Martin memorial trophy to Tony Wyeth for most improved Shadow sailor. Overall winner with five wins was Tim Wilkinson, who was presented with the Yachts & Yachting trophy; Tim, on behalf of the sailors, thanked organisers and helpers (this is an entirely volunteer-led event) for everything they had done to make this such a successful and enjoyable sailing regatta.
Well done to Jack Oswald for winning the Endeavour Trophy for 2016 – Jack, one of our junior sailors finished an incredible 4th overall in a fleet of 27.
Shadows: 1 Paul Bowen, 2 Shaun Kellet, 3 Tom Dawson
Fast H’cap: 2 Andy Budgen, 2 Tim Harison/Anna Marriott, 3 Ashley Holmes/James Gadsby
Medium H’cap: 1 Tim Wilkinson/Ben Symons, 2 Alistair Dickson, 3 Graham Deegan/Judith French
Laser H’cap: 1 Ted Blowers, 2 Bryan Sargeant, 3 Luke Margham
Aero H’cap: 1 Giovanni Belgrano, 2 Andy Warren, 3 Tim Troebar
Slow H’cap: 1 Robin & Thomas Leather, 2 Mike Peddar, 3 Kate & Thomas Gibbs
Best Lady: Kate Gibbs
Best Cadet: Luke Margham
Parent & Child: Robin and Thomas Leather
Junior Regatta: 1 Arthur Farley/Natasha Murphy-Latham, 2 Jack Oswald, 3 Charlotte Conder
Junior Race: 1 James Watson, 2 Lottie Van dear Helstraete, 3 Molly Nutter

Close racing for 100s

Racing takes place daily in the challenging Western Solent, which makes for some fantastic sailing for all classes.

Many thanks to our Cowes Dinghy Week 2016 sponsors

Henri LloydLancasters Logo 2015